This is the screen that now greets authors on Smashwords when they follow the instruction to certify the adult content in my books. “Erotic”, not “Erotica”.
I am happy with this and will go ahead and certify. Debates about the rights and wrongs of classification of adult content generally will have to wait until another day. Essentially, Smashwords listened and responded, and I would personally like to thank my contact there for his patience as we emailed back and forth about this matter.
I have to make clear once more that this was not about any objection whatsoever in my mind to the genre of erotica itself. Me, I love it. A combination of Anaïs Nin’s Little Birds and Macho Sluts by Pat Califia, read much too young in both cases, probably helped turn me into the dodgy, broad-bottomed, unafraid character I am today. (The comments from “Shocked of Alabama” and her ilk on the Smashwords blog actually made me want to run off and write the most blazingly wicked one I possibly could, and one day I will, so brace yourselves.)
But the books I currently list on Smashwords are M/M romance, gay romance, gay fiction, erotic gay romance, any combination of the above. Not one of them could possibly be listed within any kind of “erotica” category, and I wanted to fix that, and I have.
A small victory, but I’m pleased by it. I think I mentioned in one of my FB posts that there are far too many people within the New Right, both in the States and all over the world, who are ready to look at LGBTQIA+ people, their literature, their culture, label it “porn”, and trample it all, and us, underfoot.
Not that I have a problem with porn, either. But, like our straight, CIS contemporaries, we have a right, when selling or purchasing literature, to careful, thoughtful, and accurate categorisation.
Thanks again to Smashwords for listening to this point of view, and taking action.